How we Talk About Our Own Hair


Rebellious, unmanageable, nappy, untamed, unkempt.
These are just some of the words I hear people use to describe their own hair, and it’s usually not meant to be positive. This is what makes us look for so-called “miracle products” for our hair. I’m even talking about those of us who wear our hair naturally; I still don’t think we have gotten rid of negative thinking about our hair. Some of us are wearing it out and proud but still talk about certain sections of our hair being “too unruly.” I know some gave up relaxers and frequent flat iron use (me) because we were tired of fighting with our curls and coils. But then why are we still trying all these products and techniques in attempts to “fight” with our hair even more?

Don’t get me wrong, I like playing in my hair on days when I’m not being lazy. I like finding out what it can do. But I stopped thinking about my hair as these unruly fibers sprouting from my head. Suddenly styling became easier and so did my product searches. I am NOT searching for a product to solve all of my hair problems because quite frankly, my hair isn’t problematic. Having curls and coils isn’t a disorder that needs to be “taken care of” or handled. Even though I have different patterns all over my head and it’s in layers and I easily get single strand knots, I still don’t think these are issues, but things about my hair I have to work with. Do you note the difference in wording? I said I had to work with my hair, not manage or tame it.

Obviously, the issue with naturally curly hair (particularly the afro-grade) is that information isn’t mainstream enough for people to understand how their hair works. And let’s face it, most products we love market themselves in ways to promise us to deal with these “problems.” Look at the description of some (even ones that I have) that talk about using the product to have beautiful or manageable or better hair. If we want to fully accept our hair, I say that we stop using words (unconsciously) that make it so negative.

Weigh in!